Effect of scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum) meal on the growth performance and fecal bacterial load of cockerel chicks
This experiment was carried out at the Poultry unit of Kabba College of Agriculture, to determine the effect of scent leaf meal (SLM) on the growth performance and fecal bacterial load of cockerel chicks. A total of 96 day old cockerel chicks were randomly allotted to 4 treatments, each treatment consisting of 4 replicates with 6 birds per replicate in a completely randomized design experiment. The treatments consisted of feeding SLM-supplemented diets to cockerel chicks at the inclusion rate of 0% (T1=control), 1% (T2), 2% (T3) and 3% (T4) respectively for seven weeks, after one week acclimatization period. The parameters assessed were body weight, feed consumption, feed conversion ratio (FCR), performance index and fecal total bacterial count. Data obtained were analyzed using repeated measures of ANOVA. Highest feed intake was recorded in birds fed 1% SLM whereas birds fed 3% SLM had the highest body weight. Overall, birds fed SLM-supplemented diets had better FCR than birds in the control group, with the FCR improving as the level of SLM in the diet increased. Treatment had no effect on the fecal bacterial count. Results of the study showed that scent leaf meal improved the growth performance of cockerel chicks.